Reactivation Task Force

At The Ohio State University, our strength has always been — and always will be — our people, and our potential to solve problems together.

The Ohio State University is planning to significantly reactivate our campuses in the 2021-22 academic year with more teaching, learning and student activities taking place in person. President Kristina M. Johnson announced this reactivation plan on Feb. 25, 2021.

The well-being of the university community will always be the No. 1 priority, so decisions for the coming year will be grounded in the expertise of our public health and medical leaders and the latest data and science.

The university has formed a Reactivation Task Force to develop coordinated recommendations and decisions on the university’s plans that will prepare the university for autumn 2021.

Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory Group reporting

full report

Updated June 30, 2020

one-page summary

evidence reviews


About the task force

Task Force Members

  • President Kristina M. Johnson
  • Task Force co-chairs:
    • Academic Affairs: Bruce A. McPheron, executive vice president and provost
    • Human Resources: Paul N. Patton, senior advisor to the president and interim senior vice president
    • Student Life: Melissa Shivers, senior vice president
  • President’s Office: JR Blackburn, chief of staff
  • Administration and Planning: Jay Kasey, senior vice president
  • Athletics and Business Advancement: Gene Smith, senior vice president and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director
  • Business and Finance: Michael Papadakis, senior vice president and CFO
  • Comprehensive Monitoring Team: Amy Fairchild, dean of the College of Public Health
  • Government Affairs: Stacy Rastauskas, senior vice president
  • Legal Affairs: Anne Garcia, senior vice president and general counsel
  • Research, Innovation and Knowledge Enterprise: Grace Wang, executive vice president
  • University Communications: Chris Davey, interim vice president
  • Wexner Medical Center: Elizabeth Seely, chief administrative officer

Work streams

The Reactivation Task Force is working with a variety of other groups focused on particular work streams. Beyond the listed work streams, each area of the university is engaged in preparing for the reactivation of our campuses in 2021-22.

COVID health and safety

  • The Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory group is focused on overall policy guidance for the university (co-chairs: Dean Amy Fairchild of the College of Public Health and Dean Bernadette Melnyk of the College of Nursing)
  • There are also groups focused on quarantine and isolation housing (Student Life), testing (Student Life, Human Resources and Research) and vaccination (the Wexner Medical Center)

Teaching and Learning

  • The Academic Transition Task Force is focused on overall issues surrounding the approach to autumn 2021 (led by co-chairs Senior Vice Provost Kay Wolf and Dean Trevor Brown of the College of Public Affairs)
  • The Academic Program Advisory Council is focused on curricular decisions and planning (led by Vice Provost Randy Smith)

Campus activities and operations

  • Events and Gatherings: The Events Review Group (led by representatives of Academic Affairs, Athletics/Business Advancement, Government Affairs and  Student Life is coordinating guidance involving events and gatherings.
  • Facilities, Transportation and Other Operations: Administration and Planning leads a series of workgroups on topics related to campus operations.
  • Travel: Business and Finance, in coordination with the Office of International Affairs, Risk Management and others, leads a workgroup that makes recommendations on travel policies.

Student experience

  • The Office of Student Life has work streams focusing on housing/residential life, student support, programs and activities, and inclusive considerations

Work flexibility and employees

  • The Office of Human Resources has work streams focused on workplace flexibility, benefits and leave, benchmarking and long-term policy, change management and communications, including measures to address employee stress and burnout.


Messages from leadership

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3
June 9, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Ohio State’s faculty and staff — including our graduate student employees — are at the core of our ability to deliver on Ohio State’s mission, and you will play a central role in the success of our reactivated campuses.

On behalf of all of our leaders,...

June 3, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

I hope you had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend, despite the cool temperatures, and found a moment to reflect on members of the U.S. armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and its ideals.


May 13, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

While Mother Nature did not cooperate, even the rain could not put a damper on the excitement and enjoyment of our first in-person commencements since 2019 – two in one day!

We conferred 12,345 degrees and certificates, and attendees adhered to pre-arranged public...